Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend the whole day looking for it. – Richard Whatley.
Sounds like a wakeup call to late risers and eventually the late sleepers. Always heard of numerous proverbs/quotes emphasizing on kick starting your day early in the morning. These are not merely proverbs or quotes. These are words of wisdom. Wisdom passed on to generations of mankind for ages. Heart of heart we all know the bonuses of getting up early and planning our day. However, majority find it convenient to refrain from following the good old advice. As perfect as it sounds, it is nothing but convenient to stay up till late and laze around in the bed till as late as possible. Defying rules is human nature. But time does not wait for anyone. The idea is not to chase the time but tame it.
According to Ayurveda, the choices you make to set a routine for yourself either lead to a healthier you or slowly deteriorates your resistance and strength to combat deficiencies and imbalances in the body. It calls for a set of morning rituals to help align our physical components with nature’s rhythms, balance doshas and inculcate self-discipline thus fostering individual self-esteem. An early and healthy jump-start to the day is the morning mantra. If you are a late riser, try and alter your lifestyle the ayurvedic way.
Following these ayurvedic rituals would help you see mornings in a different light altogether. Just adhere to the nature’s cycle and have a blissful day.
Outshine the Sun
Practically you cannot, but you can beat it by getting up before it rises. Ideally one should wake up at ‘Brahma Muhurata’ i.e. at least an hour and a half prior to the sunrise. It helps you synchronize with the rhythm of the sun. The energy present in the atmosphere at this time and till the sunrises manifests hope, peace and inspiration. The time is most suitable for meditation.
Breathing is a natural process. Ever wondered why we are asked to inhale and exhale consciously? Although natural breathing patterns vary throughout the day, the process is largely affected by what we think, we do and also by what we eat. The effects go unnoticed till observed consciously. Regular and deep inhalation and exhalation is a key to good health and longevity. When practiced regularly and daily in the morning hours, before stepping out of the bed, this practice yields positive benefits.
Following the ancient tradition of observing lines in your palms and remembering the Goddesses of wealth, knowledge and power is also advised. Rubbing of palms using fingertips and cupping your eyes with the warmth of palms, followed by face, head, shoulders, arms, legs, create an energy shield which wards off negative influences for the whole day. Once this practice is followed only then one should touch his/her feet on the ground.
It is very important to start your day with a feeling of gratitude towards the almighty and his creations. Think positive. It brings hope, peace and happiness. One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. And don’t forget to smile.
It is essential to eliminate all the toxins from the body, which have accumulated overnight. Emptying your bladder and ensuring bowel movements kick-start the digestive system. Blowing nose helps increase oxygen intake, and cleanse the channels. Last but not the least, scraping your tongue with an ayurvedic scraper is very important. Once you follow this practice, it is interesting to observe what and how much is deposited as a coating over the tongue. It is a direct reflection of what we ingest and how well we digest.
Ayurveda recommends splashing your face and eyes with water after waking up. It also helps to disperse heat and prepare the skin for challenges of the day such as pollution, heat, stress and dust etc. It also rehydrates the skin. Lightly splashing cool water into opened eyes helps balance the doshas.
Our body is deprived of water and other fluids during the night. A glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey when consumed empty stomach, stimulates the gastrointestinal tract. Simultaneously the rich minerals and vitamins present in the lemon help lose the toxins in the digestive tract.
Ayurveda suggests you to drink at least eight glasses of water in a day. This helps replenish your body after long deprivation overnight and also assists in elimination of waste from the body.
Exercise: Movement and Stretching
Get moving. Someone has very aptly said,” Movement brings about change in a person’s physical, emotional and mental states”. Begin your day by exercising for at least 20 min in the morning. Light exercise, yoga, or a quiet walk with Mother Nature could be your choice. The movement is totally up to you. Sun salutations are a good set of exercise as it stretches out every part of our body, makes you feel alive and incredibly positive. When we wake up in the morning, we have anther 24 hours to live. How these 24 hours would turn out to be depends on your choices and thought process in the wee hours of the morning.
Take a Shower
A shower after the exercise is what is most desired. Gentle oil massage followed by either cold or warm water, depending on your body type or as you please, is not just relaxing but rejuvenating as well.
It’s important to remember that our body absorbs anything we use on it. One should avoid use of perfumes and chemicals as far as possible. It is not forbidden but suggested for restricted use.
Nourish Yourself Right
A healthy breakfast is invigorating. As per ayurveda, breakfast may not necessarily be the biggest meal of the day. Breaking fast does not mean you eat, eat and eat. Too much food is likely to shock the digestive system. Suit your constitution and eat what is appropriate. There are plenty of choices available. Cooked food or raw, cereals, fruits, nuts etc. could be your breakfast. The secret lies in balancing your nutrition content and offering you variety to spice up your morning meal. You should feel light and happy after your breakfast.
Following a set of morning rituals is no rocket science. Whatever are your needs or lifestyle, starting your day early and planning it in advance is something, which has never disappointed anybody. It becomes a habit and it helps.
Happy Morning Rituals!!!